The Bus Blog

Taking the Stampede by storm

July 28, 2016

By Monique de St. Croix


How exciting to be part of the Calgary Stampede pre-parade celebrations! Buttercup meandered her way to the grounds of Fort Calgary, feeling quite comfortable among the horses, musicians, cowgirls and cowboys.


The hipsters and chicksters of our team worked enthusiastically with people from all over the world. Photo Booths, like music, speak the universal language of FUN. Performers from the Netherlands, dancers from Mexico, Canadian military, African drummers and of course our very own homegrown cowboy culture contingent were all visitors.


One family experienced the booth via live-chat Skype in New York, a first for Buttercup. Harry the Horse stopped by, as did Ronald McDonald and this year’s Indian Princess! Buttercup welcomed them all!


Hip Image was on site for the welcome barbecue Thursday night, and the send-off breakfast bright and early Friday morning. I thought it would be a great idea to stay overnight, and have a chance to meet the parade participants with my camera in hand.


It really was a wonderful opportunity to chat with the cowboys and girls, wander among some horses, and even meet a movie star! “Keesha” was the horse in the movie “The Revenant”. She was chosen because she had the right “look”, and is very “actor friendly”.  Maybe she is one of the reasons why Leonardo DiCapricio won his first Oscar!?


Indeed it was a great idea to wander around and capture some wonderful images. What I didn’t think through as much, though, was the sleeping arrangements in Buttercup. As she has been modified and works well as a Photo Booth, she no longer transforms into a bed. Despite the soft foamy and comfortable blankets on the floor, I underestimated my need to stretch out. The 4 foot width of the bus kept me in the fetal position all night! On the bright side, I had a reasonable view of the fireworks!


The 5 am morning wake up was earlier than I’m used to rising. There are no showers on site at Fort Calgary, though we were parked at the prime location within 30 feet of the outhouses. I had also underestimated the pleasure of my morning bathroom comforts, particularly when Jo showed up as if walking off a movie set. Freshly showered, little bit of makeup, hair blowing in the wind, wearing the big smile of someone who had a comfortable bed and a good night sleep.


In contrast, I did not feel nearly as rested as she looked, with my badly combed hair under my cowboy hat, wearing yesterday’s clothes, sleep marks on my cheeks from a stiff pillow and a cramped body from a not so comfortable VW Bus floor! It was a slow start to the morning, but once the coffee, the pancakes, the sausages got going, everything came into balance, and the fun began! Though I probably wouldn’t do it in the same way again, it was definitely worth the experience.


Life is always an adventure with the Hip Image Photo Booth team!


Check the coolest photo booth in Calgary!

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